"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
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Homeowners see reduction in school taxes


Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Commentary

Homeowners of the Rushford-Peterson School District should find a pleasant surprise when they open their 2014 Property Tax Statements. They will see a reduction in school taxes due to equalization enacted by the legislature last year. A homeowner with a property valued at $150,000 is expected to see taxes go down by about $45.

Minnesota has a 40-year history of equalizing property taxes for educating children. Equalization means that for a certain level of dollars to educate a child, taxpayers pay the same percentage of home value statewide up to a certain home value—the equalization factor. In other words, regardless of zip code, children get the same opportunity to learn, and taxpayers pay the same percentage of home value in property taxes.

Chuck Ehler, Superintendent of R-P Schools shares his perspective on this good news, “We are pleased to see our legislators address the inequities in school funding that have evolved our the last few years. It is always exciting to see our legislators respond in a positive manner to requests being made by school administrators and school board members.”

The equalization factor had not changed in the state in over a decade, while voter approved operating referendum dollar amounts had more than doubled. The result was increasing taxpayer inequity. “Poorer valued communities were paying a higher percentage of home value to provide the same dollars per child to educate the children of the community, than wealthier communities,” said Fred Nolan, executive director of MREA, a statewide educational association representing nearly 180 Greater Minnesota school districts.

The 2013 legislature addressed this by equalizing the first $300 of operating referendum revenue per child at $880,000 of Referendum Market Value (RMV) per pupil. That is a 72 percent increase over the previous highest level of equalization factor.

Senator Rod Skoe led the Senate Tax Committee to devote $60 million of state revenue to this effort to equalize the tax effort of homeowners across Minnesota. Much of that tax equalization was spread across rural Minnesota.

“This marked the single largest advance in education funding equity in Minnesota in a decade,” Fred Nolan, MREA Executive Director said. “This will narrow the fifth to 95th gap to its smallest since 2003.”

While most of the funding for educating children comes right from state incom .....
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Guest Commentary: Balance sheet approach to frac sand mining decisions

Fri, Apr 26th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By Bryan Van Gorp, Rushford, MN Let’s look at the economic, social, and environmental pros and cons to frac sand mining in SE Mn. Economic impact Dr. Steven Deller an economist from U of W who studied sand mining in Western Wisconsin says ther ..... 
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Why vote ‘NO’ for R-P Referendum?

By Jon Peterson

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Commentary

Ten years ago the residents of the R-P school district, in a bonding referendum, overwhelmingly told the district they wanted their current facilities maintained and improved. Several things the district deemed necessary were done (such as new bleac ..... 
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Why vote ‘YES’ for R-P Referendum?

By Angela Colbenson

Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By Angela Colbenson R-P School Board Chair On December 19, Rushford Peterson school district will be asking their voters to approve up to 15 million dollars to be utilized for building a new elementary building plus utilize a small portion to reha ..... 
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Why build now, why build in two phases, and why build an elementary first?

By Robin Honken

Fri, Dec 7th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Commentary

Submitted by Robin Honken, Ruth Peterson, Anne Spartz Most of us know the issues with both the Peterson and Rushford Facilities. If you don’t, we ask that you request a tour of the buildings and see for yourself the crumbling walls, inefficient s ..... 
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